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PSN Review – Tumble

October 15, 2010 Written by Corey Schwanz

Originally a tech demo for the unveiling of the motion controller back at Sony’s E3 Press Conference in 2009, Tumble was a surprising announcement for the PlayStation Move’s lineup. Does it stack up well against the PlayStation Network’s other offerings? Or does it fall apart?

Tumble is a three-dimensional puzzler on the PSN with an unbelievable physics twist. It looks and feels like a virtual version of the classic balance game Jenga, stacking blocks up and hoping they don’t fall over. But while Tumble works the same simple principle, being in a video game allows it to have elements that the silly little wooden blocks cannot even dream of. Players aren’t even limited to one shape, size, or even the same materials of the original 1986 game. Cubes, hemispheres, and pyramids made of glass, metal, or plastic are only some of the items that you are given to play with in your seemingly limitless repertoire.

But the appeal of Tumble isn’t the tower building. It’s the PSN poster-child of the newly released PlayStation Move. With the Move (and a 3DTV if you are fortunate enough) you have an entire physical and virtual box to move within. As the PlayStation Eye tracks all the movements of the Move controller and displays it on your television in real-time, this title is great to show off fidelity of the Move. Clasp and tighten up the wrist strap and spin it around your wrist like a hula hoop and you’ll see just how exact the entire Move system really is.

With the near-perfect accuracy, Tumble is just as challenging as it sounds. Even if you just barely happen to touch a slippery glass block, you might accidentally knock your entire tower over. Even for mistakes, there is no undo. You’re plain out of luck – time to start over. But you WANT to try. Because of the game’s simplicity and the Move’s accuracy, you know that if something happens and you lose the challenge, you are the only person to blame. You will find yourself saying “I know I can get it… just one more try,” plenty of times. And, with a three completion medals per level (as well as specific bonus medals), the game rewards you with taking risks that will keep you trying again and again.

Tumble’s variety is where the magic lies. If the game were merely about building towers all day long, there wouldn’t be any appeal. Developer SuperMassive Games foresaw this problem and filled the game with a bunch of different challenges. First, one might have to fit as many blocks as possible onto a single platform with a limbo bar repeatedly knocking off blocks that get too high. Next you may find yourself placing mirrors around a set place to reflect light into certain color receptors. Then you may have to align special anti-grav blocks that fall in certain directions to balance a platform. Then lastly, strategically place limpet mines to destruct a tower in the most extravagant way possible. Plenty of stuff to do here.

While Tumble is definitely an incredible way to show off the Move’s capabilities to the people around you, the only way to fully understand a game is to experience it for yourself. Every single-player challenge in Tumble can be done cooperatively so you can go after those timed challenges with a partner.

Two Moves are better than one. Or are you more of a competitive person? Then try the Tumble’s multiplayer mode! Two people can compete in a myriad of challenges unique to multiplayer either taking turns or, depending on the challenge, at the same time. The tension gets high and the competition fierce as every small detail counts when your pride is on the line.

Tumble is an incredible PSN title that will keep your Move controller in your hand for many hours to come. And at only $10 dollars, it’s a great return on such a small investment. If you got the Move within the last month, you owe it to yourself to pick up this title.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

+ Excellent way to show off the Move’s capabilities.

+ Variety of puzzles provides great replayability.

+ Small price for great value.

9 out of 10

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With the near-perfect accuracy, Tumble is just as challenging as it sounds. Even if you just barely happen to touch a slippery glass block, you might accidentally knock your entire tower over. Even for mistakes, there is no undo. You’re plain out of luck.